Plastic Free July
It may be halfway through Plastic Free July but that doesn’t make it any less important than it was at the beginning of the month.
If you haven’t heard of Plastic-Free July or why you should care about it, have been considering going plastic free, or want to find new ways to kick plastic to the curb-heck, maybe you're just here because you want to stay on top of new and exciting products that keep things eco-friendly in your already low-waste household. Either way, this is the blog for you!
The production of plastic products thus the creation of plastic waste just doesn’t seem to stop. No matter how much info is thrown at us about the problems it creates, plastic still exists and thrives. We have so much knowledge now about the breakdown (or lack thereof) of plastics and the impact they have on our planet but big company’s keep making these products! Why? Because plastic is generally cheap to make, and disposability equals more profit. Though the onus is on these companies to stop producing plastics, we as consumers can pick up the slack and start making better purchases for our homes and our planet.
Anecdotally, my husband, a screenwriter, worked on a realistic sci-fi thriller tv series over a decade ago. They had a team of scientists and geneticists as consultants for plot ideas and fact checking the episodes. These experts were asked during a casual conversation over lunch what scared them the most for our future. Of all the alarming things they could have mentioned, they said the thing they feared the most, without hesitation, was plastics. This may be some of the things they were referring to:
PLASTIC BY NUMBERS
HOW WE CAN HELP
When we think of going plastic-free we may think of cutting cling wrap by using beeswax wraps or bags instead, bringing a water bottle with you so you don’t have to buy, or even ditching the plastic straw by carrying ones like these or these. With new stats coming out all the time and more and more companies jumping on the eco train, we have so many unexpected and creative options for how we can reduce our plastic use in some really clever ways!
Conventional pads and tampons are made with synthetic materials and SAPs (Super Absorbent Polymers aka plastic) that are most often derived from crude oil and have been dyed or bleached with chlorine to ensure their bright white colour. Who wants THAT in or on their lady bits?!
Aisle is not only an amazing and versatile company in menstrual care, but they’re also a Certified B-Corporation - which means they take the environmental impact of their company super seriously and are ranked one of the top 10% B-Corps in the world. So if you want to switch up your period care, when purchasing an Aisle product, you can buy confidently knowing that their pads and silicone menstrual cups are made with a positive environmental impact and high performance in mind. And come on... look at their packaging!
If reusable isn’t your thing, worry not eco-warriors, Organyc has got you covered! Their organic pads and tampons are made with 100% organic cotton for a better approach to your conventional period products. Cotton is naturally absorbent (it can hold 20 times its weight in liquid!) and is pH compatible with your body’s existing pH. Organyc’s products are renewable and sustainable so they won't take years to break down in a landfill and they are breathable and hypoallergenic so it’s practically a no-brainer! Organyc also carries a larger line of baby wipes, cotton swabs and balls, and more. You can check out what Organyc products Vitarock has on their website.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the number of plastics used while caring for your teeth; Toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental floss. Did you know? It takes 500 years for a plastic toothbrush to decompose?!
F.E.T.E. has a stylish and colourful line of bamboo toothbrushes to clean those pearly whites (including ones for the kiddies). With a selection of bristles that range from soft to firm, these brushes will suit all toothy needs. All of F.E.T.E’s packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable, their bristles are glue-free, and the bamboo handle comes from a renewable source, is compostable, and is naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial - so no icky stuff gets into your mouth, the rest of your day, however, we cant speak to.
Nelson Naturals has cut out the middle man when it comes to dispensing toothpaste so you won't find any plastic and outdated tubes here. Not to mention eliminating the need for that annoying attempt to squeeze-every-last-bit-of-paste-out-of-the-tube. This paste comes in a wide-mouthed glass jar so you just gotta dip and brush. Once you run out of your paste, Nelson Naturals has loads of refill stations all across Canada. So bring your jar to one of these spots and ask them to top ‘er up! They are so committed to low waste that you’ll find “Perfectly Imperfect” products for sale on their site. This means, even if the product may not meet the company's already impeccable standards it won't go to waste. You’ll find things like dented or scratched lids, crooked labels, or jars that were filled a little overzealously.
KMH is revamping the vintage model of what floss dispensers used to be before the plastic ones came along. Using a small glass mason jar to dispense their floss that’s not only really cute (but I may be partial to all things miniature) but still practical and completely plastic-free. KMH provides their original floss which is made from silk for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and their vegan option that forgoes the silk entirely. Both flosses are lightly waxed using candelilla wax that comes from the leaves of a small shrub, which is more than what some of the big dental care companies (we’re not naming names) can say. Um, hello, Teflon coating… ew, right? Floss refills can be purchased to re-up your wee glass jar whenever you run out. Did we mention the tiny glass jar?
Sometimes you just got cram the last bit of goodness into one big ‘ol category! Here are some of our favourite bathroom / skin / hair / things-that-make-you-smell-nice items! No plastic, aluminum, or other crap in these eco-cuties.
This Canadian B-Corp has thought of everything when it comes to the tools you need for grooming. As a company they are completely committed to the planet, sustainability and social justice and donate 10% of every purchase you make to social justice based organizations. Urban Spa has a wide range of brushes, from dry brushing to their scalp massage hair brush (which I have...it IS as good as it sounds). Loofahs, Sponges and Buffers are also on the roster of gadgets you didn’t know you needed in the shower. Nothing feels quite as good as this feels on your skin after a rough day (no pun intended).
Ok, I’ll be the first to admit, this summer has been especially stinky for me! But Routine deodorant is in my bathroom as we speak and it keeps the ‘onion pits’ at bay (when I actually remember to put it on) so it’s merely a bonus that they also happen to be natural and only use clean ingredients in their beautiful frosted glass jar. And fun fact: I was today years old when I learned that glass jar is also REFILLABLE! And if you’ve decided you’re done with the jar, they also have a recycling program. They have a line of baking soda free deodorant as well, that still does that job without irritating sensitive skin. Routine also has a beautiful line of body oils to nourish and hydrate your skin without the gunk. Ok. I love this company.
Attitude has everything but. This EWG Certified company has a full line of plant and mineral-based products, but it’s their plastic-free mineral sunscreen feels like a real winner in our books. Weighing in at a full 3 oz, this convenient cardboard push tube is biodegradable, works hard and plays hard. Zinc oxide is the main active ingredient, but there are loads of other nourishing ingredients like shea butter and castor oil that will give your skin some much needed moisture after a day in the sun. Attitude contributes to reducing, reusing, recycling, but also reforestation and for every purchase made through their website, they plant a tree in partnership with two different reforestation organizations.
If only we had unlimited hours and carpal tunnel didn’t exist because Vitarock has SO many more options that can help you live your best plastic-free life. So instead of telling you about all of them by making this my dissertation slash life’s work, we’ve included a NEW splashy and super handy way to access all the plastic-free companies and products we love on our site. Meet our new Plastic Free Shop! Come, browse, stay awhile. We think you’ll like it there and not just for the month of July.
Written by Jenn Luckas
Jenn is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner living in Toronto, Ontario. Jenn has a growing passion for all things holistic wellness while empowering others to believe they can create their version of health and balance for themselves. Jenn's favourite areas of practice include digestive wellness, low waste living and imbibing in the occasional donut. She loves interior design, curb-alerts and crosswords. She can be found at THENOURISHNEST.COM as well as chilling as Vitarock's Ethical Ambassador.
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